Is Stress A New Status Symbol?
When did it become cool to be stressed all the time? When did stress develop from something that we tried to avoid at all costs to something that defines success and status?
While I would consider myself a very non-judgemental person, I recently found myself being just that. Judgemental. I was at the office on a Sunday after having been on a business trip in Munich all of Saturday and came across a sentence written by a fellow blogger colleague about needing some time off after being stressed. And instantly my thoughts went a little something like this:
“Oh come on, stressed? Your job is to create content for your readers. You have one blog (not multiple platforms like Kathi and I) and don’t run an agency for social media consulting, host workshops and travel as much. What do you need a break from? You should love what you do and be grateful for it. All the time.”
I literally had a hard time putting those thoughts down in writing for this post. Because I am ashamed of myself for thinking that way. When in reality, I am probably envious of her courage to simply work less. Has stress become a status symbol in our society? Is it “cool” to be working day and night? Or is it maybe cool to spend more time doing things you love? But this is where the problem kicks in…
I love my job. 100%. I feel incredibly blessed for doing what I do, and in my mind it would not be ok to complain about something you love. However, I recently learned that people who love their job are much more likely to suffer from burnout syndrome than people who don’t. Why? Because we don’t realize we are “working” half the time.
With that being said, yes, I wrote this post on a Sunday. But I am proud of myself for booking a SuperCycle class tomorrow at 10am and cancelling all other plans in favor of a morning workout followed by normal day at the office that ends at 6pm. And hopefully sharing these thoughts with you guys will be a way of giving this topic more of a platform. Little steps, right? I wouldn’t trade my life and career for the world. I feel so thankful for everything I have and get to experience. But I need to work on myself and my ability to “switch off”. I always tell people it stresses me more to stay away from my inbox and laptop. While in reality it probably just takes some practise and a different mindset to understand that the world will not end if I don’t answer emails within 24 hours. That it is ok not to write new blogposts while on vacation and that it is not cool to only sleep 4 hours because you were up doing emails until 2:30 am.
In most other jobs, people would not be caught dead at the office on a Sunday. Mike and I, on the other hand, actually found it kind of cute to spend our Sunday at the desk (in separate offices), meeting for lunch and working away on our to-do lists until 6pm. On Monday morning, Mike even mentioned how smart working on a Sunday was because Mondays didn’t feel like typical Mondays anymore. And I agreed with a smile on my face. The only problem? By Wednesday the severe lack of a single day off was slowly catching up to me. And again, I felt bad about the thought even crossing my mind. I think part of the problem really is loving what you do, and the other part is being self-employed. It is so much harder to say no to things when it is your own business on the line. And then there is the fact that we are all stressed all the time. And if you are not stressed, you are probably not working a lot, meaning you are probably not successful. Right? Wrong!